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R-2 board Renews Contract with MDC for Litton Pond
February 19, 2014

The Chillicothe R-2 Board of Education on Tuesday evening approved an agreement with the Missouri Department of Conservation regarding the two-acre pond at the Litton Center. Neal Wolf, an ag instructor at Grand River Technical School, told board members that the proposed agreement modified an existing contract with MDC to take into account improvements at the pond.

Within the last couple of years, the water quality had diminished significantly due to runoff from construction at the fairgrounds and the unplanned introduction of bullheads into the pond. "The mixture of those two things really affected our water quality," Wolf said. "It was bad enough that our oxygen levels below three feet weren't conducive to fish survival; so, basically, the fish in our pond had to live in the top three feet of water or they couldn't live anywhere else in our pond."

Through consulting with Greg Pitchford, local fisheries and wildlife biologist, it was decided that the best course of action would be to install a two-component aeration system to improve the water quality. Grants and money from the Heritage Foundation paid for the entire system installation project; therefore, no school district money was used.

Since the system's installation, the water quality has improved significantly. "It really is remarkable how quickly the water quality improved," Wolf told the board members. "We feel it has been a success to this point."

The pond has been stocked with some fish and more will be added this spring. "Our hope is with this system we will be able to have more fish in that pond than what would normally be allowed in a pond that size," Wolf said. "That will really improve the fishing for the youth in our community that come to fish out there."

The proposed contract is basically a continuation of what the school district has been doing in the past, Wolf explained, adding that the district has a good relationship with MDC. "They are really good about coming out and helping us and partnering with us in order to keep the pond as good as we can have it," he said.

The board unanimously approved the contract.

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